In the Beginning
“Yuki!” yelled the Shop Manager at Go Go clothes a trendy store in the downtown area.
“Hai, hai” she answered covering her cheap rice ball tray realizing lunch was as usual postponed for customers.
Exiting the storeroom she saw two young men dressed in the wannabe American rapper look and headed over to them bowing as she asked politely “How may I help you sirs”
When she looked up she knew this was going to be one of those sales that meant she’d be subjected to the I’m such a Ladies Man
egos her two customers projected.
They took up her time but their egos made sales as she flattered them and they proved easy to deflect with the old I have to care for my sick grandmother
Her day done and her lunch ruined because the store was too cheap to provide a refrigerator Yuki rode the train back to her low end 1 room apartment her stomach embarrassing her by growling.
So after another obento box bought at the corner 7-Eleven and counting her money to see she had the cash to pay entry in the local pool she went to sleep.
The alarm went off and Yuki rolled over smacking it off before sitting up and stretching. Next as she did every morning Yuki began stretching exercises before she gathered up her swimsuit and her bag of clothes that included one set for school and another for work. It was a routine she’d developed since she’d moved out of the orphanage and she was one of the lucky ones. Yuki had been a top scoring student and athlete despite the poor conditions that she’d grown up in.
Now she was going to a teacher’s college studying to one day be a school athletics instructor and because she had no money to speak of it wasn’t the best or even middle level college insuring the only way she’d get in a good school after graduation lay in the fact she was an all round swimmer who scored high in almost all the events at the meets she attended.
Packed and ready she headed down the stairs of her apartment building and was surprised to notice the landlord had painted the railings. It was at that moment she also noticed the sun’s position; it was noon or close to it causing her to panic. She looked at her watch and it said 5:15 which couldn’t have been right because the sun said different so instead of heading to the pool she sprinted for the train station.
Once she was there she stood on an empty platform puzzled. It wasn’t the fact that a station that would have normally been moderately crowded was empty this time of day but that across the road from the station was a Ramen shop then as she looked around herself she noticed other discrepancies.
An elevated rail and so to was the platform she should have seen the harbor then the sea but she saw a river perhaps 300 meters across.
That was when the train arrived and she climbed on in a sort of daze and had a seat. The train was empty and so were the seats down below; it was all so strange she missed her stop and had to get off and wait farther down the line and ride it back.
When she got back to the stop where the pool was she found it was there but it wasn’t the same pool and was an outdoor pool instead of indoors. Knowing how swimming helped her think she still stripped and suited up and did her laps as she would have done then lay on her back and floated looking at the sky and the thick clouds overhead.
Feeling prunny she climbed out and took a long hot shower then went to school an once more spent the trip just staring out of the window at an empty citySchool added to the shock she was beginning to feel; it was like everywhere else empty.
She tested out the library computers and found they worked and that she could still answer her questions so she surfed the net typing in such strange searches as Empty World, What could a world without humans mean, and so many more and none actually answered the question that she wanted so she headed home.
She walked into the 7-11 and grabbed her usual and when she got to the counter she felt strange just walking out without paying so she checked her own purchases out.
”The First Day”